Canada: Teen may change minds of school which declined to allow gay-straight alliance posters

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Canadian teenager who previously voiced his support for a bill to allow gay-straight alliances in his school district, said he was hopeful after a meeting with school administrators that he might be granted permission for the club after all.

Evan Wiens, who recently turned 17, attended a meeting with school board members on Tuesday evening, and the decision is set to be announced on Wednesday afternoon, following the board’s discussions, and after Wiens has been informed of the outcome.

“I seem to be hopefully convincing some board members. Some seemed a little bit intimidating but the meeting generally went pretty good,” Wiens said after the meeting, reports Yahoo.

Randy Dueck, school board superintendant, declined to comment on the board’s original decision to deny Wiens from establishing the gay straight alliance, and said the outcome of the meeting would be announced on Wednesday.

The teenager said he had put up a poster for the gay straight alliance, but it had been taken down, and that he had been told that no clubs were allowed to put up posters. Despite this, he said there were posters for many other groups in the hallways.

Wiens previously said he was the only openly gay student in his school, and has faced homophobic bullying to the point where he was afraid to walk through the school corridors.

He is a supporter of Bill 18, which would require all schools in Manitoba to allow students to form gay-straight alliances, as well as clubs promoting equality between students of different genders, races, and abilities.

There have already been objections to the bill from religious groups. A meeting to oppose the bill in Steinbach, a town with a high Christian population, drew a crowd of 1,200 people out of its 13,500 residents.

The bill is expected to become law this summer, but will be subject to public hearings first.